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French (?) shop selling bootlegs and freeware homebrews

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Through a friend I have just learned of a shop, apparently based in France that not only sells repros of rare games such as Raiden, and Lemmings, but also of free homebrews.

 

http://www.freewebstore.org/Vectrom/Atari_Lynx_Games/p1908905_8647432.aspx

 

I am not opposed to repros in general, on the contrary I wrote a positive article on the matter for a German magazine. Repros of unreleased stuff and fan translations are fine for me... But I usually draw a line when it comes to reproducing games that are just rare.

 

Add to that that he is selling:

 

Chip-8

Clicks

Kistenschieben

Lexis

Lode Runner

Loopz

T-tris

Yastuna1

Yastuna2

 

And a couple of others I don't even know.

 

I am wondering if maybe we should sent complaints to this freewebstore.org and to eBay where he sells stuff too.

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I think this is the guy who posted the "Manga Poker" a few weeks back on Ebay - I was referreing to it in a post.

 

I remember it by the VHS-cover he is using on his homepage for boxing the games.

 

It must be him who is selling them for quite some time now - although they don´t show up regularly on Ebay....looks more like a "promotional" sale then.

 

Edit:

Looks like he is conntected to or in the modding scene. He is selling those RGB-cables, that are sought-after on some TV-consoles of the 90ies.

Edited by woolfman

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That said, to build an RGB cable you do not need to be very connected to the modding scene. That's a rather trivial task afaik.

 

And even if he is in the scene, selling freeware games stinks imo. Good thing we included a disclaimer in Luchsenstein 3D.

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Through a friend I have just learned of a shop, apparently based in France that not only sells repros of rare games such as Raiden, and Lemmings, but also of free homebrews.

...

I am wondering if maybe we should sent complaints to this freewebstore.org and to eBay where he sells stuff too.

The guy is making cash selling commercial games (Lemmings, Raiden) this is obviously illegal, without any doubt this should be reported and closed down.

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It's allways the same person, that used to sell from France/Poland (in fact, he is french) with multiple pseudo on Ebay years ago (the one who sold Yastuna 1 beta and A bug's Lynx).

He has useful and legal stuff (developers gave permission to resell, like Yastunas, Vectrew multicart because vectrex ROM are in PD or hardware stuff), but also some that are in (dark) grey area, where developpers said more or less explicitely that they did not want their stuff to be put on cartridge. And of course, repros of copyrighted and commercial stuff, which is illegal.

In fact, I guess that he just go where there is money to make... and doesn't care about people.

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I personally don't mind for some carts, but it depends in the game. For instance, something that's still sold by the original copyright holder is plain wrong. If its a public domain ROM that can be downloaded anywhere, and provided that the person producing the boards isnt trying to pass them off as 'original protos from way back when', and its evident its just a modern repro, i've got no problem with it.

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Well, he sells Raiden which you can still buy from Telegames.

 

And PD or not, selling freeware games is just plain wrong in my eyes. Developers often explicity don't want that, not to mention that he can cause trouble for the developers. I'm pretty sure Matthias Domin had no license to do Marble Madness for Lynx, so it was a bit playing with fire anyway... now someone is selling it for profit, and Matthias' name is connected with that port, it can cause people to believe he is making a profit from a game he has no rights to.

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I have no idea which version of kistenschieben they sell, but all of them have copyright and they have a either a txt file with them and/or an in game text which forbids to sell them on ROM.

 

If he can sell this stuff, there weem to a a marklet for it. which just means, that people like to buy it. sadly, they seem not willing to pay money for the final product, which is more expensive, because there is much more work

Every shop which sells protos of my game will increase the price of the final product.

thus, dear buyer, if you bough an illegal rom, report to ebay, get refundet and then destroy the rom.

 

PS: that seems to be the same guy who also sells something on a uk based website, right?

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Well, he sells Raiden which you can still buy from Telegames.

 

And PD or not, selling freeware games is just plain wrong in my eyes. Developers often explicity don't want that, not to mention that he can cause trouble for the developers. I'm pretty sure Matthias Domin had no license to do Marble Madness for Lynx, so it was a bit playing with fire anyway... now someone is selling it for profit, and Matthias' name is connected with that port, it can cause people to believe he is making a profit from a game he has no rights to.

 

That's a very good point! I am changing credits on my games to 'Created by Saddam Hussein'.

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I have no idea which version of kistenschieben they sell, but all of them have copyright and they have a either a txt file with them and/or an in game text which forbids to sell them on ROM.

 

If he can sell this stuff, there weem to a a marklet for it. which just means, that people like to buy it. sadly, they seem not willing to pay money for the final product, which is more expensive, because there is much more work

Every shop which sells protos of my game will increase the price of the final product.

thus, dear buyer, if you bough an illegal rom, report to ebay, get refundet and then destroy the rom.

 

PS: that seems to be the same guy who also sells something on a uk based website, right?

 

I've not seen kistenschieben, anyone got a screenshot?

 

If its the same seller I got a Raiden proto from he's selling from France and Poland. Haven't seen anyone in UK selling repros.

 

Incidentally, I bought the Raiden off EBAY for the PCB - to add a ZIFF socket. Raiden is still on my list of carts to get, I am told that the Telegames Raiden doesnt have the bugs of the PD version that's all over the net.

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@GadgetUK

 

I know you are not very worried about that kind of stuff, maybe it's even safer for you anyway because you have not spread your real name across the web. Others have, and others don't want to risk getting any trouble. There have been enough cease & desist letters from publishers in recent years concerning freeware projects.

 

You have to leave that to the devs; if they already took the risk of doing freeware ports of stuff that infringes copyrights and don't want to test their luck further by connected to any sales it's perfectly understandable, it's their asses that are on the line, no matter how small the chance of actual legal actions are.

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@GadgetUK

 

I know you are not very worried about that kind of stuff, maybe it's even safer for you anyway because you have not spread your real name across the web. Others have, and others don't want to risk getting any trouble. There have been enough cease & desist letters from publishers in recent years concerning freeware projects.

 

You have to leave that to the devs; if they already took the risk of doing freeware ports of stuff that infringes copyrights and don't want to test their luck further by connected to any sales it's perfectly understandable, it's their asses that are on the line, no matter how small the chance of actual legal actions are.

 

Generally the worst you can get is a cease and desist - and get to play the game on your own from there on in :P I would like to think a big part of it is the platform its released on. For example, targetting iPhone and Android would be very wrong for any retro remake, unless you have permission. The very worst case is I write ports for the Lynx to play all on my own, then one day when I die they will likely go onto EBAY and get repro'd anyway lol

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I don't mind repros selling on ebay, Hozer and Best been doing it for years.

Otoh, I would love to play freeware games on my Lynx, anyone's got a source of suppliers for these?

Edited by high voltage

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The very worst case is I write ports for the Lynx to play all on my own, then one day when I die they will likely go onto EBAY and get repro'd anyway lol

 

 

Naaaah....I don´t think so. People just upload them to the chip in their brain :grin:

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Generally the worst you can get is a cease and desist - and get to play the game on your own from there on in :P I would like to think a big part of it is the platform its released on. For example, targetting iPhone and Android would be very wrong for any retro remake, unless you have permission.

 

And that's a perfectly fine assumption as long as it's your own stuff. But when you go out and sell games like that shop, done by other people who have chosen not to do a physical release, you are raising the risks for them. And even a cease and desist can cost you some money, namely the attorney's fees for writing that letter if the company decides to handle it that way.

 

I don't mind repros selling on ebay, Hozer and Best been doing it for years.

Otoh, I would love to play freeware games on my Lynx, anyone's got a source of suppliers for these?

 

I suggest you just buy a flash card to play freeware games on instead of supporting pirates. Cheaper in the long run, and not so damaging to the homebrew community.

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I'm not a fan of flash cards, I want to play it on cart, and if that's not possible 'better to be a pirate than to join the navy' as the saying goes

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I have no idea which version of kistenschieben they sell, but all of them have copyright and they have a either a txt file with them and/or an in game text which forbids to sell them on ROM.

 

If he can sell this stuff, there weem to a a marklet for it. which just means, that people like to buy it. sadly, they seem not willing to pay money for the final product, which is more expensive, because there is much more work

Every shop which sells protos of my game will increase the price of the final product.

thus, dear buyer, if you bough an illegal rom, report to ebay, get refundet and then destroy the rom.

 

PS: that seems to be the same guy who also sells something on a uk based website, right?

 

The truly greedy will just run the ROM on an emulator. If someone bothers to buy a reproduction cart that means the original author isn't filling an obvious need. Don't ask the customer to destroy his property: Tell the reproduction manufacturer to stop selling the cart.

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The conclusion for stuff like sage's game is that you simply must not share betas with the Lynx community, especially if the game is not close to release. What works for the 2600-, 7800- and Jaguar-fans seems to not work for the Lynx community.

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I'm with you on that, I am not interested in betas, just the final product. I'm interested buying Lode Runner for example. If its available as freeware on cart, even better

Edited by high voltage

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The French/Polish thing reminds me of a guy who is infamous for this kind of stuff. He tried to sell RGB cables in the Jaguar forum recently, I got one and it was really, really poor (distorted image on screen, very thin/cheap modified scart cable). He used his girlfriend's name for the PayPal payment.

 

Anyone producing carts and CDs of other people's homebrews/demos/whatever without permission is a steaming sack of crap, that's all there is to it. Even if they say they are "doing it as a service and charging very little" - meh - BS. Selling pirate knocksoffs is scummy and low. Doing that with the stuff people do in their own freetime for fun is even lower. Anyone knowingly buying such things is no better IMO.

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I think the bottom lines is, where there's a creator you have to respect the creators rights, that said it''s not entirely crystal clear. Take Eye of the Beholder for example, I am keen to release the ROM for this because in my mind its a treasure that should be open to the masses. That said, Eric wants to do another run of the game and I wouldn't mind one of his carts for my collection anyway, so that's the primary reason I won't just release it as I have to respect his wishes. Strangely someone asked me 'NOT to dump and release the Kill the Lynx image' yesterday, which was very strange request but I have to honour that request - even more strange since there's an image already on the French forum!?!? Then there are games like Fat Bobby, and Raiden which are Telegames games I think, therefore still 'printed' and available for purchase, meaning that anyone cloning those games is infringing copyright in a clear and direct manner and taking money out of the hands of the owner, similarly with Sage's game - they are effectively stealing from him. When all is said and done any repro work of old games is questionable legally, I guess we have to decide as a community what's ethical and what's not. Alien, and many of the games on the 2600 / 7800 forums that have been 're-created' are questionable, as is the fact that EOTB has even been burnt to ROM and sold many times already, and there are many many other Lynx ROMs sold on cart by many people that are questionable, some people claim to own the rights to them to reproduce them but I think in a court of law that would be proven otherwise.

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I am certainly no saint myself; I own repros of games with fan translations, and a few obscure pirates (the kind of stuff like Super Mario on Mega Drive etc). Usually when I own such a game, I buy a copy of the Japanese original too.

 

And I sure as hell won't complain about EotB being released; games like that, or Hotdog or Tiny Toons on Jaguar etc are of historical interest and deserve preservation imo. And while I would prefer officially licensed releases, that is not always possible. Better to have ROM-dumps or repros than to have the games remain unplayed forever.

 

That said, if you don't own a license, don't earn money with a game. I had my repros made for me for free by a friend, save for one. Anyone with some time can do it himself thanks to tutorials online.

 

And I don't mind people porting copyrighted games as freeware. But again, earning money with that is wrong.

 

When the creator of a game says he does not want his work to be sold on card, everyone should respect that. It's his work that made the game happen, work he did for free, and his decision how it is delivered. If you disregard his wishes you mustn't be surprised if he does not go on supporting our favorite system.

 

That shop we are talking about is not some guy releasing prototypes for our benefit or something; he is a pirate. He knowingly ignored sage's disclaimer. He sells bootlegs of games you can still purchase from the publisher anytime you want. And he does not even mention his stuff is not authentic; if you don't know a lot about the scene you will think this is legit stuff.

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